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Tupela: A memoir of passion & humour

Post-China: the way forward for Bougainville


I WANT TO further analyse my reflections on China. I begin by asking this simple question. Like China, how will the Autonomous Government of Bougainville go about economic recovery as she tries to move forward and achieve a better life for all in Bougainville?

On 4 March this year the Autonomous Bougainville Government came up with the “Bougainville Economic Development Policy” and “Investing In Bougainville”.

These two documents are well thought out and written with great insight.

As I skimmed through them, I found out that a fundamental component was missing. The documents only deal with economic development, which I would describe as a body without a head, mind and spirit.

The spirit is the energy that empowers all in Bougainville to work towards achieving a better life. It is a fundamental and foundational part of the way forward in Bougainville.

The Chinese experience shows that all companies and industries begin with spirit and vision - the vision of their province and their nation. This ensures the same spirit energises and empowers them to continue fulfilling that national vision: “To achieve a harmonious society and a peaceful environment”

The danger of dealing with the body only is that there is no energy in reserve to keep moving forward. The vision and spirit ensures that there is continuous growth and development.

My humble appeal to all Bougainvilleans is to discover that Vision of Bougainville.

In order to achieve a better life in Bougainville, we all need to have the same vision, mission and goals. All persons, communities, institutions and all businesses need to own that vision and dream.

We need to go through that kind of transformation. There is a need for paradigm shift and a New World view. There is need for attitudinal change. This will enable us to a new mindset and to come up with the economic recovery needed to achieve that better life for all in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Are we able to have that same dream and vision? Are we prepared to commit ourselves and be united in achieving it within a certain period of time? I believe that where there is a will there is way. There is certainly a way that will lead us forward to achieve a better life.

I fully support and endorse the “Bougainville Economic Development Policy” and “Investing In Bougainville” documents. These are fundamental principles in the economic recovery and development program in Bougainville.

Fr John Koran was a member of a recent Bougainville delegation to China. This is an edited version of an article on the New Dawn on Bougainville website


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